What Is Social Search & Why Does It Matter? | Unskippable - Marketing Keynote Speaker - Jim Kukral

What Is Social Search & Why Does It Matter?

searchguy.jpgSearchengineland nails “what is social search” with a piece today entitled ‘The Impending Social Search Inflection Point‘. This is probably the best piece on this topic I have read yet. A bit technical and high-level, yet still very readable for the masses. I admit I had to read it twice, heh.

A few highlights I pulled out below.

According to Jupiter, 41.2 percent of users report that general search results are often not directly relevant to queries, and 18 percent leave a search engine without having found the information they were seeking.

So who’s fault is this? Spammers who clog up the rankings or the engines? I say both?

As articulated by Chris Sherman, social search is information retrieval, way finding tools informed by human judgment. Social search is people helping people find stuff using plain-language questions and answers, collaborative content harvesting, directory building, voting and ranking, sharing, tagging, commenting on bookmarks, Web pages, news, images, videos and podcasts.

It’s not rocket surgery. It’s “helping people find stuff” at its core, using newer tools and techniques.

According to a Pew Internet and American Life report, 44 percent of Internet users are content creators. A significant ratio of the top 100 results for more queries are consumer-generated media such as blogs and social networks, which sounds like an invitation for social media marketers to seed more content.

Wow. 44% create content? That’s higher than I thought. As it gets easier and easier to do, how high will that number grow?

Web 2.0 innovations are disruptive. The emergence of open standards, richer user experiences, content portability, social networks and communities are quite disruptive to traditional algorithmic search, and are converging toward social search. Information retrieval is changing in real time. Web 2.0 open standards have in essence separated the content we search from its format and dedicated application. More and more frequently, information is being pushed to consumers before they even have a chance to use a search engine to pull it from the Web. AJAX and Flash are turning web pages into applications, themselves becoming platform-independent mashups of RSS feeds, smart widgets, badges, and modules.

Possibly the best paragraph explanation and analysis I’ve read in a long time on any particular subject.

Social search levels the economics. The explosion of consumer-generated media, the emergence of social search and the rise of the net’s culture of participation will eventually force a democratization of the web’s economics. Content-generating users, driving traffic and eyeballs, will increasingly share the wealth. The web is slowly but surely leveling the playing field for the rest of us in the tail. More and more personal blogs, MySpace profiles, and other communities display advertising and widgets wrapped around democratization of revenue share including payment. Consumers will eventually share the wealth in a more democratic way.

The time is now. What are you doing to stake your place as a new entrepreneurial type content producer in this new marketplace?